Cardinal defense helps lead to a big men's hoops victory

Chasson Randle scored 22 points, Joshn Huestis and Dwight Powell combined for 23 points and 25 rebounds and the Stanford men's basketball team stunned host Connecticut, 53-51, Wednesday night in a nonconference game.

The Cardinal (8-2) handed the No. 10 Huskies their first home loss against a nonconference opponent in six years.

Stanford overcame a 13-point deficit to beat previously undefeated Connecticut for the first time in five meetings.

"It was just a matter of us being aggressive on the defensive end," Randle said. "Just being active, getting our hands moving, getting our feet moving and just hustling."

Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins did what coaching legend Mike Montgomery could not do in his three tries against the Huskies.

"At halftime, we were reeling," Dawkins said. "We were trying to search and find out what we could do. Our guys really stepped up and just did it on the defensive end. It was one of the best efforts I've ever seen for a half."

The victory also gave the Pac-12 a lift nationally. With the success of conference teams (a combined 99-23 against the rest of the nation, three schools ranked and all 12 teams with winning records), the Pac-12 has to be considered a premiere conference.

Stanford continues its road trip with a game against Michigan on Saturday at the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational, at 5:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.

The Cardinal, 5-13 against ranked opponents under Dawkins, beat a top-10 team on the road for the first team in over five years. Stanford beat then No. 10 Oregon 11 months ago.

"This was huge for us," Huestis said. "We knew inside our locker room we could compete with anybody, but we had to prove it."

Michigan (6-4) plays for the first time since losing at home to top-ranked Arizona, 72-70, last Saturday.

The Cardinal shot 38 percent for the game, but Connecticut was worse at 32 percent. Stanford outrebounded the Huskies, 43-41, and both teams turned the ball over eight times.

Stanford trailed, 43-30, with 16:48 remaining in the game before making its move. Anthony Brown and Randle hit consecutive 3-pointers to spark a 14-0 run to give the Cardinal a 44-43 edge less than six minutes later.

Randle drove into the lane and hit a jump shot with 6:15 left to put Stanford ahead for good at 50-49.

The teams combined to score nine points over the final eight minutes, with Stanford's zone defense giving the Huskies fits.

Connecticut made one of its final 12 shots. Stanford was 2 for 5 from the field and 1 for 3 from the foul line during the same span.

Powell and Huestis each recorded a double-double in the contest. Powell had 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Huestis added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

— Palo Alto Online Sports


Like this comment
Posted by chris burford
a resident of another community
on Dec 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

Great of the Dawkins Era best. Just need to stay tough and finish hard on the close in shots...great rebounding...never give up! (And they didn't)!

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